Land back

I’ve been mostly hibernating this winter and had to take some time from many of the community care and communication here due to my own health issues, but am so thankful for the wonderful community members who stepped up into roles to cover different needs so I could have some relaxed respite to heal.

The goal here is for all of us to just take some time each day to think of or support community and our neighbours around us in good and nonjudmental ways, meeting them where they are at, lessening their load, and the load for each individual becomes much less. Community love and support is a vital missing piece in our society that needs to be reestablished… and that takes some time. We are taught to be self-sufficient and individuals and it’s not healthy to live in this way. We need our sisters and brothers, aunties and uncles, niblings (nieces and nefews and other younger kin) to help us with our loads.

Growing season is fast approaching.

This year, we will be encouraging but not taking on any new land than that which we’ve already committed to as a whole in the leadership circle. If there is a community garden space near you, or you have a yard or space for growing, post about it here and we will support you. Ask community who lives nearby on here to help you share the load and commit some of your harvest and seeds to community. We will help you with seeds, tips, and strategies to help ensure your success. If you are a newbie, you’ll likely be surprised how easy (and relaxing) it can be to maintain an Indigenous garden space. If even 1/4 of this group gave a small growing commitment, we’d have enough to cover our kin who were struggling and seed varieties for the future. If even 1/4 of this group made one big pot of meals a month to freeze in portions for community, those in crisis or need would still have good nutrition and feel loved and valued.

Some of the other circle leaders and I have discussed that if we, as an Indigenous community in this Region were to have some land back, what would we do with it in this immediate moment? Would we be ready for that responsibility? Would we know which plants to encourage and which to remove, and how to work as a community? Would we know what the cycles of nature looked like so as not to disrupt it? We need to reconnect and establish some of these relationships to ensure our long term success and that starts with small incremental unlearning and relearning.

Even if what you plant this year doesn’t grow like you had hoped, you will learn what not to do next year. We had failures and missteps this year that we won’t make again. We have non traditional seeds that you can practice with and not feel bad about failing. But we can make mistakes together, with no judgment, because we are all learning.

So let’s do this together, and be ready for when land comes back our way. Let’s know how to interact in a good way and how to have good relationships with all the beings around us. Our ancestors are watching and just imagine their smiles at your first harvest. ❤

-R

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